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Denotation vs. Connotation

hey

[hey] /heɪ/
interjection
1.
(used as an exclamation to call attention or to express pleasure, surprise, bewilderment, etc.)
2.
Informal. hello: used as a greeting.
Origin of hey
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English hei
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the land is an enemy to be feared, while the Frenchman is not—hey!

    The Two Admirals J. Fenimore Cooper
  • hey, Scottie, shake up the fire and put on some coffee, will you?

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • You can't find out where he gets all that india-rubber, hey Willems?

  • It used to be "Rose," but now it was always "say" or "you" or "hey."

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Do not let us cover ourselves with shame—shall we, hey, my children?

    Sevastopol Lyof N. Tolsto
British Dictionary definitions for hey

hey

/heɪ/
interjection
1.
an expression indicating surprise, dismay, discovery, etc, or calling for another's attention
2.
(South African) an exclamation used for emphasis at the end of a statement, or alone to seek repetition or confirmation of another person's statement
3.
hey presto, an exclamation used by conjurors to herald the climax of a trick
Word Origin
C13: compare Old French hay, German hei, Swedish hej
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hey

c.1200, variously, in Middle English, hei, hai, ai, he, heh, expressing challenge, rebuttal, anger, derision, sorrow, or concern; also a shout of encouragement to hunting dogs. Possibly a natural expression (cf. Roman eho, Greek eia, German hei).

Þa onswerede þe an swiðe prudeliche, `Hei! hwuch wis read of se icudd keiser!' ["St. Katherine of Alexandria," c.1200]
In Latin, hei was a cry of grief or fear; but heia, eia was an interjection denoting joy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hey

hey

interjection

An exclamation used to underscore mildly what is said: Pennzoil has been arguing that, hey, they are reasonable people/ I tried explaining that, hey, basically a goose is just a big duck/ Hey, I'm only human

[1980s+; the use is attenuated from the ancient call for attention found by 1225]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
7
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